B Rock Note: Anniversary of the Death of The Doors’ Jim Morrison
The Doors Week continues on the Rock Notes. It was 46 years ago this week (July 3, 1971) that Jim Morrison was found dead in the bathtub of his apartment in Paris, France by his longtime companion, Pamela Courson.
The local coroner ruled "heart attack induced by respiratory problems" as the official cause of death for the 27-year-old iconic and eccentric Doors frontman.
The rock world and music historians have forever been fascinated by the mysterious circumstances surrounding Jim Morrison's sudden and early demise. Steve Harris, the senior VP at the time of the Doors' record label Elektra Records revealed what he knows about Morrison's death:
It was heroin. So they bring Jim home and he's dead. And they put him in the bathtub and there's a knock on the door. Pam goes and opens the door. Y'know who it is? Marianne Faithfull. She saw what was going on and she split."
Ray Manzarek said shortly before his death that he hoped people would start to eventually see beyond Morrison's "Lizard King" persona and grow a deeper understanding of the Doors' music:
Y'know, it's a worship of Morrison -- I understand that. Y'know, he's dead. It's like James Dean, y'know -- except James Dean stood alone, so you could worship James Dean. But, I mean, Jim was part of a band. The band was called the Doors. Listen to the music, man. The people who worship Jim Morrison so insanely, I don't even think they know the words, y'know? It's just the image of Jim."